At primary school in Northern Ireland, he was asked what religion he followed. He was a Hindu, he replied. “Are you a Catholic Hindu or a Protestant Hindu?” was the next question.
On a long drive from Belfast to Dublin where we were going to appear for our Post Graduate exams, a doctor colleague asked me ”If you don’t believe in Christ how will you ever go to heaven?”
Learning to read, write and do some numbers is not education. Being able to think, ask questions and feel empowered to break down walls is true learning. The kids at primary school were trying to fit him into a box that they were familiar with. It was clearly learnt behavior. Learnt from their environment. It was apparent that the grown-ups weren’t far off, even the ‘educated’ ones.
My educational aspirations for my family and myself brought me to UK, thousands of miles from home. I had the image of a country where education was free and everyone was looked after even if they could not work and pay medical bills. It sounded perfect.
I am still learning. A ‘work in progress’ like everyone else.